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Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler

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## Blogger of the Month

I had a thought yesterday about possibly using the Martingale betting system with NBA DFS Double-Up competitions… I know ideally we want to keep “gambling” and “DFS” completely away from each other, but hear me out. lol.

The Martingale system says you place one bet of x-dollars, and then if you win, you place the same x-dollar bet again. However, if you lose, you double the bet. If you lose that bet, you double again, and you keep doubling until you win. As soon as you win, you have added that original x-dollar bet to your bankroll no matter how many times you had lost in a row.

With an unlimited bankroll and no maximum bet this is a system that cannot lose. Obviously we have both of those limitations in place here, but I think DFS is a skill game and that it’s very possible to consistently win, so Martingale could be profitable.

For example, I’d play a $10 double-up on Sunday, and if I lose I’ll play a $20 double-up on Monday. I keep doubling until I either win or run out of money. If I have a bankroll of $310 I could afford to lose 5 in a row before I run out of money.

So basically I’d bank $10 for every double-up I win before I lose 6 in a row.

I really do think this is would be profitable, but I’m not sure I can restrain myself to only playing one lineup/contest a day. ha. Let me know your thoughts!

oh please start a thread and track this. it would be more entertaining than your max thread

“The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent” (usually attributed to Keynes)

While a losing streak of any length of time can seem highly unlikely to the optimistic mind, even a weighted coin flip will still be exposed to that risk.

I don’t think the wins here will follow the normal curve, so I don’t know if your percentile there is accurate (maybe it is and I am missing something).

Unless you accurately get that curve right, then you are exposed to long tail risk.

In casinos, they just cap the bet amount, and then let the gambler’s ruin take over as they will have the larger bankroll.

In this scenario, you are limited by the number of times you can double-up, as there are only so many options (unless there is a no limit option that I am unaware of).

So you take on that (larger than expected) risk, for a reward that basically brings you back down to where you started.

Low upside, large downside.

In stocks, that is a mix of the concept of a drawdown mixed with the “picking up pennies in front of a steam roller”.

But playing optimally is boring – I say go for it, and keep a thread going about it. Could easily go on the positive side of variance and get a big run up, and would make for a good read.

If the negative side hits, then it shows a real world example instead of people just talking about it.

So, tonight you’ll bet $100 in a double-up. If you lose and keep losing all week these are your bets: $200, $400, $800, $1600, $3200.

This would require a $6300 bankroll just to make sure you double that original $100? The Martingale strategy would work in a casino if you had an unlimited bankroll and no table limit. At some point you’ll always run into one or the other. The bankroll runs out or the table limit won’t allow you to make the next bet.

In DFS, there isn’t really a “table limit” other than what you can get deposited on the sites. I’d imagine at some point this strategy just turns into a $5300 H2H vs. Max and then a $10,600 and then $21,200. Even then, H2H doesn’t pay double your money.

My first thought when reading this post was in line with several others’: “This wouldn’t work as planned, because as your bets increased, you’d be playing higher dollar/tougher competition contests.”

But then I thought further and realized that this isn’t necessarily true. Why are we of the mindset that you’re only allowed to enter ONE singular double-up each day? If you start out with a $10 double-up and lose, you don’t HAVE to enter a $20 double-up the next day…you just have to SPEND $20. So you could theoretically only enter $10 contests, but just enter more of them as need be. That way, you’d still be competing against basically the same pool/caliber of player.

Am I missing something with this thinking?

I think the main issue here would be fractional recovery.

In that if you enter one and cash, then double up.

If you enter two, then you need both to cash in order to double up.

So your binary state each time turns into a distribution instead.

This arguably is the sort of traditional way of just “playing dfs”.(except breaking Kelly with an escalating % of bankroll going into it)

Correct. That is not why this is the worst strategy ever. It is because if you play everyday you are bound to run bad here and there. With proper bankroll management a bad run isn’t the end. With this strategy every time you have a bad run you lose your entire bankroll and have to start at 0. This is not some new genius strategy. This is the same old strategy that has been making people go broke for over a century. If you had infinite funds and there were no limits then it works great. But that isn’t the case. So you just play it until you finally hit 0.

## 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

## 2015 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

the $25 double up on fanduel is very much so multi entry, so one can just set 1 lineup in that, or 2 lineups in that, or 4, or 8, or 16, or 32 or 64 (100 entry cap). So you would need to lose 7 days in a row in just that $25 double up before you need to move up to a higher buy in.

Call me crazy, but I don’t buy that I’d lose 7 days in a row (in fact, most people wouldn’t). And no, it’s not like flipping a coin which is 100% chance – you can set a good lineup for 7 days in a row, and the odds aren’t the same as flipping a coin each time, because when you build a lineup, you’re trying your best to build the best lineup given how much you know about the sport. When you flip a coin, you cannot affect every flip by trying to “make a good flip”

## 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

## 2015 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

how bad does one have to be to get to Zero?

One basically needs to lose every single time, without a single win……a single win at any point makes a profit. So while I will this at higher stakes, I don’t see how someone else with a bankroll of $100 can’t play at a $2 level…..it shouldn’t take much confidence to think that you can win 1 out of 7 times in a contest where the top 45% get paid. Hell, even do it in 50/50s where its 50%….you’ll just be playing for slightly less than double, but still a good profit.

People never want to take risks, they just want the rewards….there are no rewards without risks

This is why I said it was weighted coin flip.

It is a binary outcome, weighted in one direction.

Taken over and over.

Have at it man. Keep us posted.

The most positive thing I can see about it is that it is a great way to earn site points, so there could be a lot of positive expectation there.

Otherwise, it is very a swongsy way to get one buyin.

This theory once lead me to a $1000 hand of blackjack. I got lucky and had an 11 vs 6 and was able to come up with the funds to double down… and win thankfully.

LOL. I had a couple of buddies that tried this at a casino. Many years later the casino is still begging them to come back with all sorts of comp offers. :)

Done and done.

If you play everyday for a year and have a 60% expected win rate, the chance that you have a streak of seven days in a row where you lose is approximately 30% for the year. If your win rate is lower than 60% then you’re chances are obviously much worse (a 50% winner would have a chance of about 76% of going bust).

If you’re 60% or better, why not simply play the boring 10% every day, assuming you start with $100 per day with the system you have a $6400 bankroll. Play $640 per day instead of just $100, reduce your risk of going bust to ~0%, a keep your hair from falling out, and make more money anyway since most days you’re wagering more money with a positive ROI than in the Martingale system.

(If people want to play with the numbers, I went http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/4658/what-is-the-probability-of-a-coin-landing-tails-7-times-in-a-row-in-a-series-of )- there’s code about 1/2 down the page that you can play with in your browser to calculate difference scenarioes.

Also this:

http://probability.infarom.ro/martingale_odds_in_long_run_article.html

and this:

http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/20-heads-in-a-row-what-are-the-odds/229300217

After reading this thread I was thinking about a different betting system. Why not try the Reverse Martingale instead? Start with a bet you are completely comfortable losing. Bet that in a double-up and continue to go all-in until you lose or are uncomfortable with the next bet.

For example, start with $10 tonight. You win, then bet $20 tomorrow, $40 the next day, $80 the next, $160 the next, $320 the next, and so on…

The idea behind this system is that when you are on a losing streak you are always betting the minimum but a winning streak and things really take off. Of course, the end result is losing and starting over but you’ve really only lost $10.

I think that’d be a lot more fun for the casual player. Start with $10 and have a goal to play the Monster once you get to $300. So you bet $10, $20, $40, $80, $160, and on the 6th night you play the Monster for $300 and pocket the $20 for your next two rounds.

Another system is the one I use, where I bet any amount and lose it, usually drunk.

Long term it doesn’t seem profitable, but I haven’t really run the numbers, just sort of an intuition.

You’d have to win X amount of times in a row or it fails. In that Monster example, if you don’t win six in a row, you’re out $10.

I guess it all depends on how many times you can win six in a row.

My best stretch last year was 9 winning days out of 10. Unfortunately my best streak was only 5 days in a row. Does that mean I’m due for a 6 night streak????? Implementing this strategy right now!!!!!!!!!!!!

## Blogger of the Month

seems scary. i feel like even without upping my bankroll, losing 4-5 nights in a row (which happens multiple times throughout the year) causes my stress to rise and my picks to become a bit more emotional… can’t even imagine if that meant i wax 1× 2× 4× 8x my original bet!

## 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

## 2015 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

the true difference of risk averse and risk loving, just as in the stock market.

As a risk averse player, you can play $100 every day, and you would have to win 4 out of 7 times in the week to win $100. As a risk loving player, if you follow the method in this thread, and win 4 out of 7 times, you will win $400. There’s just a ton more to lose if you somehow can’t find a way to double up 7 times in a row.

Ummmm…. No. Interesting math. If you are assuming you can lose 7 times in a row before busto and you are playing the martingale to win $100 at a time, then your bankroll would have to be $12,700. So if you are doing the 10 percent method then you are wagering $1270 a night. Not $100. But yeah. Never mind that.

## 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

## 2015 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

Eh I see your point….if bankroll is 12k then it’s kinda pointless to try and double up just 100 bucks….just hard to think one can lose 7 times in a row in double ups in the first place

Fair enough. But in order for the system to work you have to be prepared for it. Even on a 4 day losing streak you would have to be putting up $1600 on the 5th night just to win $100. And you have already put up $1500. So you are putting out $3100 to win $100. There are just much more efficient ways to mange your bankroll.